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IN LOVING MEMORY OF

MY MOTHER, FATHER, AND BROTHER

My life began on the 27th day of June, 1956, in Indianapolis, Indiana. I was the second of three children with which my proud parents were to be blessed. My father was Robert T. Allison, Jr. and my mother was Tommie K. Allison.

However, my sister had to be the first born. My parents always said, "Ladies first." Her name is Karen D. Allison Hornbeck. She was born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on January 5, 1954. Then, my little brother came along to join our family. He was brought into the world on June 24, 1958 -- also in Indianapolis, Indiana. His name was Kevin Lynn Allison. When we were younger, we celebrated our birthdays together.

Now it's time to tell you all about me and my life. I attended grades K-2 at Fall Creek Elementary School, grades 3-6 at Brook Park Elementary School, grades 7-9 at Belzer Junior High School, and grades 10-12 at Lawrence Central High School -- all of which are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Upon my senior graduation, I joined the United States Navy in December of 1974 and was placed on inactive duty for six months. I arrived at the Great Lakes Naval Recruit Training Center on June 26, 1975 -- the day before my 19th birthday. As you can guess, there was no party; just a new haircut. At first I thought Boot Camp was a living nightmare. It wasn't at all like the Summer Camps that I looked forward to when I was in Boy Scouts. After my first month of training it got much better. I was there for twelve weeks and graduated from Basic Training on September 12, 1975. It was well worth the effort in the end because I was then given my first leave which was two weeks long.

So, I hopped a flight out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and went home to Indianapolis. When I arrived at the airport in Indianapolis and made my way through the terminal, I saw my mother walking in my direction. She didn't notice me at first, but once she realized that I was her son, she gave me a hug and a kiss, but she didn't have to say a word for me to know how proud she was of me. There I was -- standing in my dress blues and looking as handsome as ever! I was no longer the little boy she had known, but the man she knew I would become. We went home and I spent the next three days visiting with her and my best friend. I was certainly glad to get a good home-cooked dinner, too!

By that time, my parents had long been divorced, my father had remarried, and my brother was living with him. So, on September 15th, my mother gave me her car which enabled me to go visit my dad, stepmother,brother, stepbrothers, and stepsisters. They lived in Fairborn, Ohio, which is just a few minutes from Dayton, Ohio. My stepmother is Lois Ann Willis and she has two sons and two daughters of her own. They were all glad to see me and I was glad to see them, too. I had planned to stay only overnight, but since I had eleven more days of leave, I decided to stay one more night.

Little did I realize that my lifestyle was about to change forever because I stayed that second night. My father asked me if I would go pick up my brother from work.

I had nothing else to do, so I said, "Sure, as I got my keys to the car.

It was the night of Sept. 17th. I arrived at my brother's workplace at 11:00 p.m. and handed him the keys. I said, "You drive and I'll tell you all about my Basic Training."

We were on a dark, damp, paved road in the country -- away from a lot of the traffic. It was a two-lane road with farmland on both sides. As we rounded a curve, the rear of our car started to slide on the damp pavement. I fell against my door and it opened. I grabbed hold of the door's arm rest and held on with all of my might, but that wasn't enough! The G Force was pulling me out! My brother tried to regain control of the car with his left hand. At the same time, he leaned over and tried to pull me back into the car with his right hand. It was no use! The car began to spin. I looked under the car, but within seconds I knew that if I didn't let go, I would be smashed in half by the car door and a barbed-wire fence, being killed instantly. Immediately, I let go and ended up -- face down -- in a muddy ditch with the car straddling the ditch directly above me. My brother was okay.

He got out of the car and I heard him yell, "Mike, where are you?"

Answering him, I cried out, "I'm under the car and I can't move!"

He thought I was kidding around at first, but when he realized that I was telling the truth, he pulled me out and sat me back in the passenger's seat. Then, he got into the driver's seat and tried to get us back on the road, but the car was stuck in the ditch. There were no cars or homes in sight! We waited for about a half hour before we finally saw a car heading in our direction. My brother repeatedly flashed the headlights off, on, off, on, off, on. He then pressed on the horn to get the driver's attention! When the car stopped, a man and woman got out of it and approached us. Because the woman was a nurse, she knew that I had broken my neck and was near death.

Since I had broken the C6 and C7 vertebrae, I was paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors refer to this condition as being a quadriplegic. I was taken to the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Hospital. I stayed there for two months after which I was flown to Hines Veterans Hospital in Chicago. I was in their Spinal Cord Injury Unit where I had to learn to care for myself once again. I had to relearn how to bathe, eat, dress, and everything else you can imagine. It took me eight months before I was ready to face my new life in a wheelchair. That big event happened on June 22, 1976.

By the time I was discharged from the hospital, my mother had remarried and she asked me to come and live with her and her new husband in a small town called Carterville in southern Illinois. I lived with my mother and stepfather for the next sixteen years.

By 1988, my brother had been married for two years and had a one-year-old son. He and his family lived about one and a half hours from us in Moro, Illinois. On June 17, 1988, as he was riding his motorcycle into town to get a sandwich, he rounded a curve and hit some loose gravel. His bike fell onto it's left side, then it flipped onto it's right side. My brother was thrown 500 feet into some trees, but his helmet was still strapped to his bike. When my mother got the phone call telling her what had happened, she and my stepfather left me alone at home to answer the phone -- and to make phone calls notifying friends and relatives -- while they went to the hospital. My brother died that night. He had suffered severe head injuries and had severed a main artery in his right arm. He was laid to rest on June 20, 1988, in Carterville Cemetery.

With the loss of her youngest child, my mother could bare no more. She felt as though her life had ended with his, so she would just sit in our living room staring out the window -- waiting and wishing that he would come driving up the road. Then, if that weren't enough, my mother caught the flu on April 14, 1992, and passed away on the 17th of April -- also Good Friday of that year.

Let me give you a few more details about that day. My mother had come into my room at 7 a.m. to help me get dressed, but she didn't seem to have any energy at all, so I knew she hadn't gotten any rest the night before. For that reason, I told her to lie down and I reassured her that I could get myself up.

Once I was up, I watched some television in my room after which I went into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. There was no wall separating our family room from our kitchen, so I could see my mother lying on the couch. The television was on. When I finished my coffee, I rolled over by my mother to watch the program.

I was shocked when I realized that she wasn't breathing, but it was too late for me to do anything!

She had been ready to help me get dressed just a little while ago, but now she was gone!

That was the worst day of my life! She was laid to rest next to my brother in Carterville Cemetery on April 20, 1992.

Seven months later, my stepfather remarried and gave me the option of buying the home from him or finding my own place to live. I won't go into detail, but I will tell you that I had had that home built with my "V.A. Grant" of $25,000. I had also paid cash for all of the furniture in the living room as well as in the dining room. In addition, I had paid cash for an enclosed sun room with a spa.

You might be wondering, "If you had done all of that, why did you have to buy the home from your stepfather?"

Well, you see, my mother had me put the home in his name with the condition that if -- and when -- either one of them passed away, it would be given back to me. I could go on for hours about that shady deal, but I paid him for the home and that ended our relationship.

However, I managed to stay in my home for only three years before I became too lonely and sick to stay by myself. At that point, my sister and brother-in-law asked me to move in with them and my two wonderful nephews in Auburn, Washington.

I arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which is about forty minutes from their home, but I think my sister and my nephews thought I was going to die before we reached their home. At that time, I weighed a mere 1O5 pounds and was a ghostly pale flesh color. Therefore, I was taken from their home to the Seattle Veterans Hospital and admitted to Ward 1 West -- also known as the Spinal Cord Injury Unit. In 1995 and 1996, I had several operations -- two of which involved major hip surgery.

By that time, my father had divorced again and was working for the Department of Defense in Germany. While he was in the Czech Republic, he passed away on August 10, 1996, because of upper respiratory problems.

At the time of this writing, it is March 30, 1998. I had surgery which amputated my toes on both of my feet on the 20th of last January. That was my choice because my toes had become curled -- and fused at the joints -- causing me great pain! I've been through a lot in the past three years as I have been living with my new family here in Washington. However, I'm happy to say that I'm now healthier, stronger, and weigh 175 pounds!

I should mention that I owe all of this to my caring sister, loving brother-in-law, and the greatest nephews an uncle could ask for! Also, I must not forget to be forever thankful to the fantastic staff of doctors, nurses, attendants and everyone else at the Seattle Veterans Hospital.

Last, but not least, I know that God and my guardian angels are with me at all times! Because of my faith in God, my life has changed for the best and I know it can only get better. As I give my testimony, I have noticed the strangest thing! My accident, the death of my brother, and the death of my mother all happened on the 17th day of the month!

If you believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, your outlook on life will change for the best.

Love in the Light of the Spirit...

God Bless You!!!

By Michael T. Allison

Updated on March 8, 2000.

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JESUS SAVES

We were driving late one night.

Everything seemed to be all right

Until we went around a curve.

Then our car began to swerve,

My door came open and out I fell.

This is my story which I must tell.

For those who listen, I pray you're well.

Now I'm paralyzed from my feet to my thighs,

But it's no miracle that I didn't die,

Because I had Jesus by my side.

He laid His hand on me and said,

"Don't worry my son, you're not dead.

"You have a long life to live.

"Let others know what I can give."

Put your faith in God above.

In return, He'll fill your heart and soul with selfless love.

By Michael T. Allison 1976

DON'T FEAR THE DARK

In the darkness of the night

Evil demons come out to fright.

Don't fear, for Archangel Michael and his army of angels has them in their sight.

They will force them back to their darkened rooms.

Where Satin lurks in his cavern of doom.

And peace shall be throughout the night

With the break of dawn and the sun's bright light.

By Michael T. Allison 1976

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